Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This makes me giggle

The new and improved logo for the UK's Office of Government Commerce...

Clearly, they either NEED a handful of frat boys on their design team or have a few who are hi-fiving each other right now! If I tried to work a snafu like this into a book, I'd never sell an editor on it!


47669 / 50000 words. 95% done!

...and no baby yet...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Exhaustion Won...

I didn't get my writing in yesterday like I'd planned. My morning write went as usual (hence the 700 words in one short scene with Jake, Lily and grandma Thalia) but the afternoon write time was spent at the park, library, grocery store, and hanging out with the neighborhood gang...I think I am in fear of the baby cave. I'm going to miss my people!

The evening write time should have redeemed me...but I couldn't stay awake. And then...and then! I wake up with a headache.

Hmmm...I wonder just how long my list of 'I didn't write today' excuses can get?

BUT on the exciting front (for me at least) I did work in some Jane Austen title banter which made me OH so pleased since it turned out way funnier than I'd hoped. At least to me. And entertaining myself is all that matters, right? Right?


45038 / 50000 words. 90% done!

Monday, April 28, 2008



What do you think of when you hear the words Multi-Ethnic? This has always been a quiet sector of romance that few understand and many are unaware of. Multi-Ethnic embodies more than just the lifestyle, culture, and stereotypes, and has become increasingly visible and more accepted within the last decade.

This workshop focuses on understanding and breaking into a market that most people are afraid to approach, but may be interested in learning more about. From authors such as L.A. Banks, Kayla Perrin, Sunny Chen, Brenda Jackson, to Caridad Pineiro, these women have proven that there is a demand for literature that focuses on the exotic.

...and how is FIRST IMPRESSIONS coming along?...I'll update at the end of the day...

43613 / 50000 words. 87% done!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Baby Pool

Jenna's baby pool thread :: Official due date May 11

When will I get my baby girl? It's anyone's guess...I don't think it will be today.

MG Braden - May 2, 8#1oz.
Ally Kendall -May 5th, 7lbs 8oz
Eden Bradley - May 5th, 8lbs 4 oz
Gwen Hayes - May 6th, 8lb 6oz
AJ Chase - May 6th, 8 pounds even
Jennifer Leeland - May 7th, 8 lbs, 3oz, around 8am.
Christina Castle - May 8th (my little brother's b-day) and say 7lbs. 4 oz.
Jennifer Shirk - May 9th, 8 lbs 10 oz
Dana Belfry - May 9th, 7lbs 6oz. 5:30am And will sleep through the night at 8 weeks. (a round of applause for Dana!)
Maria Shanti - May 9th (Fridays child) 3:12 pm, 6# 10 oz.
Crystal Jordan - May 10th, 7:32PM, 8lbs 3oz
Cassandra Curtis - stroke of midnight on May 11th.7 lbs. 7oz.
Adelle Laudan - May 12th 6 lbs 13 oz
RB Michaels - May 13th, 9 lbs 5 oz
Lyra Marlowe - May 14, about 3 a.m., 7 lbs 14 oz

My money is on May 1, 7 lb 3 oz
(Boy 1 was on his due date, 8#5oz. Boy 2 was 11 days early, 8#3oz)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS...Let's see how much I can write today...

42912 / 50000 words. 86% done!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Romance Readers Luncheon

No baby yet! I was able to make it to the annual readers luncheon my local chapter puts on. Cassiel Knight runs the show, making sure every detail is taken care of. Everyone had a great time and left with a TON of stuff. There were books on the seats, books in the goody bags, door prizes, and we raffled off book baskets. The proceeds of the event go to Oregon Literacy, so there is quite the feel-good sensation going around!

I sat at a table with Roz Bailey whose latest, Mommies Behaving Badly sounds wonderful. Suzanne McPherson was the guest speaker - she was hilarious and had vintage Barbies for visual aids! Other local favorites like Lucy Monroe, Elizabeth Boyle, and Stephanie Rowe were there as well. Delle Jacobs even brought me a baby gift! Talk about a great day!

And now...well, my feet are swollen and I need a nap!


38014 / 50000 words. 76% done!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

To finish, or put it aside, that is the question. I heard from the brilliant editor today about the partial of Mr. Possibly. Good news - she liked the concept, but she did have a few concerns. Nothing so big she didn't think I couldn't go on with the chapters as they are...but I happen to agree with her points so I want to change them a bit to make sure they're as good as I can make them, not merely good enough.

But...I am on the downhill slide of First Impressions. It is nearly done. In fact, I put them on a plane to Hawaii today, and since I love Hawaii I know it will be smooth sailing. However...I could have a baby any hour and so lose my brain for a bit. In a perfect world I would finish the draft of First Impressions, put it aside while I rework Mr. Possibly's partial, then edit FI while the brilliant editor falls in love with MP, give her the full or FI while I writ MP...and have her fall in love with both books.

In my world? Eep! I don't know what to do! And to complicate it more? The brilliant editor is having a baby too! About three weeks after me. Hmmm...what would you do first?


36262 / 50000 words. 73% done!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday 13 - 13 things I must do before the baby comes

  1. pack the hospital bag...hey, the diaper bag is packed
  2. kindergarten round up - babyboy must be enrolled in kindergarten for next year or I will go mad. I will.
  3. readers luncheon - because it is fun for me
  4. pedicure - I can't see my feet, so someone had best check to make sure they look OK in stirrups
  5. go nomail on on my yahoo loops - I am looking way too forward to this one.
  6. clean. Everything. The house needs help.
  7. make the phone list. I always forget that and wind up conning a friend into calling EVERYONE. I need to be a better friend.
  8. sleep. I should be asleep right now
  9. finish FIRST's on the downhill slide now, when it is flowing. If I have to pick it up again later I'll end up rewriting the thing.
  10. return all my library books - I don't want to know the fines if I forget this one
  11. pick up portraits of the boys from the mall. I loathe the mall. Read FOR KICKS to find out why.
  12. fill out the baby book - because I won't have time after she's here
  13. get a DVD player - for late night movie watching...either that or a cable box for upstairs so I can go On Demand.

What are you getting done in the next few weeks?


33838 / 50000 words. 68% done!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sliding Downhill

Now is the point in the book where I race to fit in everything I want to fit in...all the while wondering just how over my word count will end up. Since I am drafting this one and not polishing as I go, I know there is a bit of wiggle room. My CP is a fan of telling me to cut entire scenes...and it kills me every time she's right. Here's hoping she'll be feeling well enough to be able to work her magic on this book as well.


33080 / 50000 words. 66% done!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rose City Romance Writers Annual Readers Luncheon

Saturday, April, 26th.

This is our premier charity event where we raise money for Oregon Literacy. We will be returning to the Governor's Hotel in downtown Portland, and have lines up local and regional authors to sign books and gathered loads of goody baskets to raffle. For more information please see

There are TONS of book baskets to be raffled off...which excites me. I get so excited when I win! Though...I didn't win last year, but I got two the year before so I guess it all evens out...


30326 / 50000 words. 61% done!

Not bad for 2 weeks, if I do say so myself!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Writing Fast

Someone asked for advice on writing so quickly. Not sure that I actually write faster than most. I mean, I started my writing time ( a whole hour today, yikes! ) by deleting 300 words. Maybe it is that I have such a short amount of time to work that I just puke the words out.

I do know that I am getting things off my to-do before baby list. Got my hair done today...readers luncheon, kindergarten round-up have to happen as well. But not until next week. So baby girl must stay put!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS...notice the same numbers as yesterday, just in a different order...

27256 / 50000 words. 55% done!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two Days

When Trish and I started this writing war, we were focused on her two week two days we'll have been writing for two weeks. I'm only half done, with characters who are in a steamy bathroom and not being steamy! Darned round characters. Flat ones you can bend at will, but ones who've become people to you, you have to let them do their thing. At least in a first draft.

Anyone else think Trish is going to pop up on Tuesday like toast, completed manuscript in hand?


26725 / 50000 words. 53% done!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Where in the WORLD is Trish Wylie?

My writing challenge partner has gone MIA...I think she must either be

a. deep in the cave, about to pop up with a completed manuscript
b. researching the fun way...I wonder if she's taking flying lessons or scouting out skinny dipping locations
c. mucking out stalls while discussing plot twist options with Charlie...hmmm....this one may be too realistic to be an actual option
d. switching genres to write one of those hot westerns everyone is saying is the next big thing...except she's Irish with a penchant for millionaire bad boys...


25021 / 50000 words. 50% done!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Novels Meme

There is a novels meme making the rounds, specifically what are the novels you have written and where are they now...The Manuscript Mavens have been doing it all week, so it made me creak open my old files for a peek...

THE MARRYING MAN - started October 2003 when HubbaBubba got laid off. I'd be able to write a book and the kids could still have a Hanukkah full of presents...count your blessings he found another job quickly. This was all about a reality tv show called, you guessed it, The Marrying Man. I wrote it long hand since I didn't have a computer. I just checked, and that bugger got to 33K! I typed it up a few years ago when I was trying to learn how to type.

BREAKING HIS RULES - 80K - started fall of 2004 when I managed to get both boys to nap at the same time. Finished in January of 2005. Sometimes I talk about this one as WORKING IT OUT, sometimes SENSATIONAL SEX. It's the karma sutra yoga book that is parked at Warner.

FALSE ALARM - 60K - my 2004 NaNoWriMo that became JUST ONE SPARK, the book that Mills & Boon bought and published in May 2006.

STRIPPED - 80K - February 2005. I wrote it as a BREAKING HIS RULES follow up with the hero's sister, but then unlinked it because it didn't work. It's an OK book, but has a really weak suspense element that either needs to be beefed up or removed, and so it sits on my hard drive.

PAR FOR THE COURSE - 80K - MayNoWriMo 2005. This is the golf is the new singles bar book. Also has a D/s element that was very challenging to work with. It intrigued me to have the power play, but I kept the focus on the romance. This was a tickle file book - I worked in an article about golf, and a MSN report about exploding frogs! This comes out in July from Samhain.

IT'S NOT YOU - Summer 2005 - I made the mistake of Snowflaking this idea and lost interest. It made it to 17K, but knowing what happened killed it for me.

JUST ONE NIGHT - Summer 2005 - This is hands down the best first chapter I have ever written. And there is NO story behind it. I've tried it one way for Blaze, two ways for M&B...When people talk about contest winners who never sell, I think of this chapter.

IF YOU SAY SO - 85K - Summer 2005 - Now called LITTLE WHITE LIES. My virgin erotica author hero. It's sitting on an editors desk...waiting patiently...Totally fun to write. It has a lot of the same characters as JUST ONE SPARK, but a virgin erotica author hero can only work in single title.

FOR KICKS - 70K - NaNoWriMo 2005 - The cross country retail whirlwind with a phone sex scene that makes me smile. Black Lyon put it out this March.

CULTIVATING TEMPTATION - Jenna's attempt at a Regency. Haven't finished it. Historicals are hard to write!!

COME FOR DINNER - January 2006 - Did First Draft in 30 Days and wrote and sold this book in 6 weeks. It morphed into COOKING UP A STORM from Mills & Boon in December of 2006.

EVERYBODY LOVES RACHEL - April 2006 - a partial the lovely editor didn't like. I still like the story...

PLAYING WITH FIRE - May 2006 - same as above...but this one had a hero who smoked.

HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX - 60K - October 2006 - I was feeling a bit burned out, so wrote a completely indulgent working together/ trapped on an island / fake engagement story with a Cinderella twist. Samhain put it out this February.

SURE THING - 70K - NaNoWriMo 2006 - This is a true JUST ONE SPARK follow up, with the subplot characters. Unfortunately...the hero doesn't work for category. I think it needs a revision to make it work for single title. And so it sits.

WHAT FEELS RIGHT- February 2007 - This is the don't mess with my sister book, but I only did the first chapter since I was in the 'editor doesn't like it' groove

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION - 60K - Spring 2007 - Uber organzied girl and a Frenchman drive west to attend a wedding. Found out the book stalls through the midwest. Thanks Immi! I promise to fix it one day!

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE - Fall 2007 - A firefighter in Hawaii. I'll write this one someday, but it has some bad mojo for me at the moment.

MR. POSSIBLY - Winter 2008 - The wedding planner and the mogul. The partial is with the brilliant editor.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS - right now! - It's my jealousy themed book. It's not very plotty, which makes it hard to explain. I've only had one scene where the H & h weren't in the same room. All about angsty emotion and playful banter, this one. Trish and I are in a word war...except she has disappeared from the internet. Please. I'm having a baby next. Then I plan on finishing MR. POSSIBLY.


23224 / 50000 words. 46% done!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

TBR Day - Secrets volume 1

I'm all about reading :) Angie James did this TBR Day thing today, so I checked it out and decided to copy. It's flattering, right? Either way, lots of people do it. For more info on To Be Read Day, check out AvidBookReader.

Title: Secrets volume 1
Author: Alice Gaines, Bonnie Hamre, Ivy Landon, Jeanie LeGendre
Year published: 1995
Genre: novella - historical, contemporary, fantasy
  • The Proposal by Ivy Landon - Take a walk on the wild side of love
  • The Gift by Jeanie LeGendre - Exotic seduction and a concubine's surrender to the Sultan's desires.
  • The Spinner's Dream by Alice Gaines - Will leave every woman wishing for her own private love slace, desperate and running for his life
  • A Lady's Quest by Bonnie Hamre - a Lady searches for a lover in a way that is sure to shock and please.
Last year at RWA I snagged a ton of Secrets volumes. I love that each story is different, and the shorter length means I can read them quickly. It makes me want to pick a favorite...but that is hard to do. A Lady's Quest was great because it was a new idea, modern ideals weaving into Regency times. Likewise The Proposal was fun because it twisted a relationship that was 'good enough' into exceptional. I think The Gift was the best. It was a time period (Ottoman empire) I hadn't read before, and it focused intently on seduction. Made for a fast and fabulous read.


22053 / 50000 words. 44% done!
I wonder how Trish is doing...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I have lots today. Wanna see?
  1. The evil eye is back
  2. I was nauseated all morning
  3. I couldn't stay awake while BabyBoy napped
  4. Sciatica had me gimpy all day
  5. BabyBoy had a fit at the sibling birth center tour
  6. Contractions (not the kind that do anyone any good, just the ones that put me out of commission)

Hmmm. If I keep this up, I'll have a Thursday Thirteen...and no book. Best get to work tomorrow!...still no word on how Trish is doing...


18716 / 50000 words. 37% done!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Remember that 1st grade homework question that stumped me? Darn thing was a trick question. A W has 3 angles and 4 sides. I was SO not amused.


18051 / 50000 words. 36% done!

Trish hasn't been posting...I half expect her to pop up tomorrow with a completed draft!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Judge A Book By It's Cover

and...I didn't write today. Went to a baby shower (a baby tea actually, which was quite posh)...and I have a migraine. Complete with auras. No good, I tell you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Meetings and Headaches

Spent the morning at my local RWA meeting, and the rest of the day was a toss thanks to a headache. I just know that Trish is in the cave, writing up a storm and I only managed to bang out one scene!

(no, I didn't change my heroine...this scene was the hero and his 'mistress')


15901 / 50000 words. 32% done!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Writing En Masse

I'm at the PHS today, talking about writing in groups...or just with one other person...who's computer took a day off yesterday!


13488 / 50000 words. 27% done!

word I seem to be overusing? SWIRL.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Come over to Shelley Monro's blog and see me! I'm talking about writing what you want to write about instead of what you think you should.


11284 / 50000 words. 23% done!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Want a copy of FOR KICKS?

It's the Book-A-Day giveaway at The Romance Studio


9062 / 50000 words. 18% done!

Yeah...Trish is STILL winning! Schnikey!

Monday, April 07, 2008

OK...I give...

Help! I have been stumped by homework...for my first grader. What shape has 4 sides and 3 angles?


6547 / 50000 words. 13% done!

Crikey! Trish is beating me! By over a thousand words! And she has a cold...maybe I should send her vats of Nyquil...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Not much time...

My parents were in town, plus I had a baby shower for a friend today - yes, it seems most of my friends are breeding as well - so I didn't have much writing time. I must do better tomorrow. Can't have Trish catching up!


4501 / 50000 words. 9% done!

Shower time!

I had my baby shower yesterday! I think everyone I know had fun shopping for baby girl clothes and shoes - my daughter already has a shoe collection! I was so touched by the effort put into some of the gifts. My neighbors made me a gorgeous scrapbook which will allow me to look like I have it all together through the baby's first year. She'll look back and either think I went crazy when she turned one or got lazy. I'm OK with that.

My aunt made the cutest knit dress. My mother-in-law went wild with booties, a quilt and an enormous Raggedy Ann. Raggedy Ann is so my thing. My cousin put together a bag of all the things I'll forget to pack when I go to the hospital.

It was lovely to have a day where all my girls could get together and celebrate our excitement about the baby. My brothers and their wives did all the planning for the shower, so it was also great to show off how wonderful they are to everyone.

All that...and still I wrote today...


3135 / 50000 words. 6% done!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Fiction Friday

The Romance Rountable is featuring some of my stuff for Fiction Friday.

On Again by Jenna Allen
Unwritten Romance by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Short Stories:
71 Downtown by Jenna Bayley-Burke
A Familiar Ring by Jenna Bayley-Burke

FIRST IMPRESSIONS -- my parents are in town...this gives Trish an edge, me thinks...

1705 / 50000 words. 3% done!

Friday, April 04, 2008

She thinks she can scare me...

She has a deadline...I have a due date...who will finish the book first?

Fellow Modern Heat author Trish Wylie and I are each going to write a book in 2 weeks. Yes, it can be done. No, neither of us has pulled it off before. But really, what choice do we have? I'm guessing I have two weeks to hear back for the new editor on the partial I sent in. Since the baby is coming, if I want to write this story I'll need to get it done before she wants the rest of that book. No time to waste!

I'm running with a darker idea than I usually attempt. Starts with a funeral, swirls around the world of Jane Austen, and may just end up on an island. Not sure. I'll have to keep up with Trish somehow!

Today I am calling Jake & Lily's story First Impressions. Be sure to check my blog and Trish's to see how we're managing!

963 / 50000 words. 2% done!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

13 ways to feel better about yourself

My list from 101 Ways to Transform Your Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  1. You have a right to be who you are. Unless someone else is being hurt by you being who you are, you have nothing to apologize for.

  2. Walk barefoot in the grass.

  3. God wants us not to love God, but to love one another.

  4. Enjoy today, let inspiration in rather than the stress of the every day. Be consumed with now.

  5. You aren't the only one who can solve others problems. Set your ego aside and let others work out their own problems

  6. Nothing ever goes 'wrong'. Experience is a teacher.

  7. Listen to your internal dialogue and edit those thoughts that aren't what you want from life.

  8. You are not limited by labels like religion, race, nationality, gender...

  9. Release fear and guilt, replace it with love and kindness. Forgive yourself. Guilt wastes mental energy.

  10. You don't define anyone with your judgements, only yourself with your need to judge.

  11. Give yourself a moment of silence.

  12. If you can be kind or be right...choose to be kind.

  13. If prayer is you talking to God, then intuition is God talking to you.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jake Tolliver

square jaw
hazel eyes
sculpture-worthy symmetry

RED: People who like red tend to be tigers in the sack. They are easily aroused and enjoy sex in every way imaginable. Once the sexual spark is ignited, it may take hours to extinguish. When two reds get together, the ensuing erotica could make Lady Chatterly blush. Lovers of red tend to be aggressors and weaker colors should be aware.

The BAD BOY: dangerous to know, he walks on the wild side. This is the rebel, or the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s bitter and volatile, a crushed idealist, but he's also charismatic and street smart. Think James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause


  • "I am a rock;" emotional detachment

  • Feeling that one doesn't belong or fit

  • Bad boy, good girl; or vice versa

  • Lovers from different social, religious or ethnic worlds

  • Hero forced to face his emotional fear, limitation, block, or wound
Type Eight: The Challenger
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: self-mastering, they use their strength to improve others' lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.

Self-sufficiency, financial independence, and having enough resources are important concerns: become enterprising, pragmatic, "rugged individualists," wheeler-dealers. Risk-taking, hardworking, denying own emotional needs.

Basic Fear: Of being harmed or controlled by others
Basic Desire: To protect themselves (to be in control of their own life and destiny)

Aries - welcome challenges and will not be diverted from their purpose except by their own impatience, which will surface if they don't get quick results.

Aries subjects are courageous leaders with a genuine concern for those they command, being responsible people, it is rare that they will use their subordinates to obtain their own objectives as leaders, but occasionally it does happen. They do not make very good followers because they are too "take charge". They may be unwilling to obey or submit to directions for which they can see no reason, or with which they disagree. They are much concerned with self, both positively and negatively - self-reliant but also self centered (sometimes) and concerned with their own personal advancement and physical satisfaction. Their immense energy makes them aggressive and restless, argumentative occasionally, headstrong, quick tempered, easily offended and capable of holding grudges if they feel themselves affronted.

Arians are frank, direct and candid, and make enthusiastic and generous friends. You are liable to have a high sex drive and make passionate but fastidious lovers. There is, however, a negative side to your associations with other people. You can easily be irritated by slowness or moderation in your companions and, though yourselves sensitive, ride roughshod over the sensitivities of others. The intensity of your sexual urges can drive you to promiscuity and a Don Juan-like counting of conquests of the opposite sex.

nature is usually push or be pushed, with little middle ground. This can at times be objectionable to others, but you must have the freedom to act, rather then just thinking about it, getting pent-up in the process. At all costs you need to avoid negative emotions such as resentment, regret and self-pity, for they would deny you what is essential to your nature: straightforwardness.

Coming in first
Championing Causes

Waiting Around
Admitting Failure
No opposition
Other peoples advice ;)